Meet Our Instructors


NOTE – All of our Instructors are FAA Level 3 Award in Activity First Aid and Level 3 Award in Combat Training First Aid.

Tahir Ahmad – Lead Instructor, Team Lightning Member, DL Crew Member and UK Director for Defence Lab

  • Being the first and still only one of two worldwide to achieve membership into the elite ‘Team Lightning’ within Defence Lab.
  • Made DL Crew Member in less than 4 years.
  • Owner of the largest and fastest growing franchise / club within Defence Lab globally.
  • Member of the Board of Examiners for Defence Lab.
  • ‘DL Franchisee of the Year’ every year since 2017.
  • NEST Award Winner for ‘Business Growth 2018’.
  • Worked in Bollywood movie industry.
  • Heading DL operations in UK, India, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Martial Arts has always been Tahir’s Passion.

But it all starts with a very inspirational story. As a kid, like many children, he too was bullied. Finally at the age of 11, he got the opportunity to start his Martial Arts journey. Like most people back then, he started with Karate and quickly became known in his school as the ‘Karate Kid’ winning many Karate tournaments year after year. With his new found fame and confidence, the bullying naturally stopped and instead he became very popular in school. But he never forgot the pain he felt from being bullied and so he would always stick up for others, even if this meant going against another popular kid. Tahir always had a soft spot for anyone being bullied and would use his popularity and strength to help them.

A rude wake up call Having reached Brown Belt in Karate, now at the age of 19 and with only a year left to finally achieve his Black Belt, Tahir was attacked on the street by a 6 foot soldier in Aldershot (home of the British Army). Despite initially getting punched in the face at full swing, thankfully no real harm was done as Tahir managed to keep the attacker at distance. But he came to the sudden realisation that Karate doesn’t work in real life and that his confidence was in fact based on fantasy rather than reality. It left him in a dilemma. Should he continue his training for one more year so he can call himself a ‘Black Belt’ or should he quit and look for something else? At the end of the day, what will truly save you in a self defence scenario, your belt or your actual skills? Understanding that the real purpose of learning a martial art was not for a belt or some ego trip but to learn how to effectively defend oneself and one’s loved ones, Tahir left Karate in search for something more street effective.

Over the next 11 years, he trained in Muay Thai under the British Champion at the time but again he found himself asking the same question “is this really designed for real life?”. And again the brutal answer was ‘no’ and so he felt that he needed something more.

Finally finding his calling – Looking into and trying various other styles, his search eventually led him to ‘Defence Lab’ and being so impressed by its teachings, he knew that he had finally found what he was after for all these years. So much was his belief in this new and ever evolving fighting method that he even decided to leave his consultancy business to become a full-time Lead Instructor for ‘Defence Lab’.

His rise within Defence Lab in such a short space of time has been truly extraordinary.

Tahir is a also a parent of 3 children, all of whom have been training with him from an early age. He also made sure that they would never have to suffer bullying like he did as a kid, so his children were taught how to effectively deal with bullies and this is the reason why bullying was never a problem for them. Of course, the bullies certainly tried but they were quickly put in their place and so the tactics taught by Tahir definitely proved their effectiveness. These same tactics are now taught to all of his students.

Tahir has many years of experience teaching both adults and children in weekly classes, as well as on a 1-2-1 basis, which include Police and Military personnel and those looking to travel to ‘danger zones’ in various parts of the World. He has also built up a large portfolio of Businesses, Organisations, Schools and Colleges, providing both staff members and students with regular ‘bespoke’ training workshops and seminars.

Although he has refused to be held back by out-dated techniques and has always been quick to adopt the best practices of the time, yet he still holds onto the traditional values of honesty, loyalty, integrity, discipline and strength of character, all of which he aims to pass onto each one of his students. By nature he is very friendly and out-going, who makes his students feel extremely welcome and ‘part of the DL Family’. The training should always be fun and enjoyable whilst at the same time not losing the seriousness of what is being taught.

Tahir genuinely believes that the progression of each student is a reflection of him as an Instructor and so he has a genuine desire to help each student achieve their personal goals. However, this is not to say that the student will not have to do their part. Persistence, effort and the desire to improve must come from within the student……bring these to the class, and you will not only achieve your personal goals, but you will certainly go beyond.

Tahir is continuing to work hard not just for the expansion of his own Franchise / Club within the UK but also for the expansion of Defence Lab globally as a ‘DL Crew Member’. He is also personally spearheading Defence Lab’s expansion within the UK and into India and the Middle East.

Welcome to the DL Family!

Tehseen Ahmad – Instructor & Team Storm Member

Proudly Tehseen was the first youngest ever Instructor worldwide and in the history of Defence Lab, at the age of only 15 years. A special exception was made by Defence Lab Founder, Andy Norman, due to Tehseen being able to demonstrate excellent physical skills as well as teaching skills.

He then continued to quickly progress, also becoming the youngest ever member of Team Storm at only 17.

Tehseen, being the eldest son of Tahir, started his martial arts journey with his father from a very early age with Thai-boxing and a little grappling. However, he moved into Defence Lab as soon as Tahir became a DL Instructor.

He has also used these new Self Defence skills on multiple occasions very successfully. Some were during school against bullies but once it was against a man who attacked him on the street when he was 15. Tehseen floored him instantly before making a dash for it. And another time was when he was attacked by 3 older boys when he was 17, and again by the grace of God, he floored all 3 of them without getting hurt. This only goes to prove that our training really does work in real life!

Tehseen has picked up his father’s style of teaching, having shadowed Tahir from the very beginning. He is incredibly out-going and friendly with both kids and adults thoroughly enjoying his company. From a young age, he has always been highly respected by all students and is able to successfully run classes for all age groups.

Eshan Ahmad – Instructor & Team Storm Member

Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Eshan too very proudly became one of the youngest ever Instructors in the history of Defence Lab, worldwide, at the age of only 15 years. Again, a special exception was made due to Eshan being able to demonstrate excellent physical skills as well as teaching skills.

And just like his older brother, Eshan was too inducted into Team Storm at only 17.

Eshan also started his martial arts journey with his father from a very early age with Thai-boxing and a little grappling. However, he too moved into Defence Lab as soon as Tahir became a DL Instructor.

Having also shadowed Tahir from the very beginning, Eshan has been able to quickly develop both his physical and teachings skills. He gets on extremely well with both the kids and the adults whilst still being able to command the respect as an instructor.

Farhaj Malik – Instructor & Team Storm Member

More than any other sport or activity it was always martial arts that attracted Farhaj. His martial arts journey began at an early age of 7, first with Judo, then Boxing and various other traditional and modern styles with the aim of trying to include and cover as many aspects and angles of self-defence.
Still searching for a system that answered all of his questions, he was eventually introduced to Defence Lab and it was an instant realisation to have finally found his answer. All aspects of self-defence in real life scenarios were covered including multiple attacker scenarios. He was so impressed that he switched from the dental industry into becoming a fulltime instructor for Defence Lab.
Farhaj has a sound ability to get on with people of all ages and backgrounds, thereby helping individuals to meet their needs according to their situation.

Keith Cheung – CIT (Certified Instructor Training)

Keith’s journey in Kung Fu began during his formative years in Hong Kong when he was just 15. However, much like Tahir, he encountered bullying in secondary school and realized that the martial arts techniques he had learned were ineffective in real-life situations. Consequently, he made the difficult decision to halt his pursuit of a black belt.

However, Keith’s life took a transformative turn when he relocated to the United Kingdom. It was there that he discovered Defence Lab, a martial arts system renowned for its practicality and non-competitive philosophy. Intrigued by its real-life applicability and the supportive atmosphere it fostered, Keith was captivated. Motivated by his newfound passion, he resolved to enrol in the esteemed Certified Instructor Training programme offered by Defence Lab.

Drawing upon his background in translation and localization, Keith is unwavering in his commitment to utilizing his exceptional communication skills to impart the invaluable teachings of Defence Lab to students of all ages. With a fervent dedication to his craft, he endeavours to share the transformative power of Defence Lab with aspiring learners, enabling them to navigate the complexities of Self-Defense effectively.

Photos from the Defence Lab UK National Conference, November 2017, November 2018 and November 2019 with DL Founders Andy and Grek, as well as from NEST Awards 2018.


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